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The Last Shanty

The Last Shanty published on

M’ father often told me, when I was just a lad,
A sailor’s life was very hard, the food was always bad,
But now I’ve joined the navy, I’m aboard a man-o-war,
And now I found a sailor ain’t a sailor anymore!

Don’t haul on the rope, don’t climb up the mast,
If you see a sailing-ship it might be your last,
Get your civvies ready for another run ashore,
A sailor ain’t a sailor ain’t a sailor anymore!

The ‘killick’ of our mess, he says we have it soft,
It wasn’t like that in his day, when he was up aloft,
We like our bunks and sleeping bags so what’s a hammock for?
Swinging from the deckhead or lying on the floor?

Chorus

They gave us an engine that first went up and down,
Then with more technology the engine went around,
We now steam and diesel but what’s a mainyard for?
A stoker ain’t a stoker with a shovel anymore!

Chorus

They gave us an Aldis Lamp, so we could do it right,
They gave us a radio, we signal day and night,
We know our code and ciphers but what’s a cypher for?
A ‘bunting-tosser’ doesn’t toss the bunting anymore!

Chorus

They gave us a radar to pierce the fog and gloom,
So now the lookout’s sitting in a tiny darkened room,
Loran does navigation the Sonar says how deep,
The Jimmy’s three sheets to the wind, the Skipper’s fast asleep.

Chorus

Two cans of beer a day, that’s your bleeding lot!
But now we have an extra one because they stopped The Tot,
So, we’ll put on our civvy-clothes and find a pub ashore,
A sailor’s still a sailor, just like he was before!

Chorus

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